After not receiving a single vote for the preseason AP Top 25, Kansas State overcame low outside expectations to fly onto practically everyone’s radar under first-year head coach Jerome Tang.
The Wildcats started 15-1 and climbed to No. 5 in the poll, and did so in the country’s deepest conference, the Big 12. Thanks to a solid resume — 23 wins and a 9-8 record in Quad 1 games — the Wildcats received a No. 3 seed in the East Region.
They will face Big Sky champion and No. 11-seed Montana State in first-round action on Friday in Greensboro, N.C. Tip-off is slated for 9:40 p.m. ET on CBS.
Read on for my Kansas State vs Montana prediction and best bets.
Kansas State vs Montana State Odds
Note: CBB odds mentioned in this article for Kansas State vs Montana were used from DraftKings Sportsbook, unless otherwise noted, and are current as of Wednesday, March 15, at 12:39 p.m. ET.
- Moneyline: Kansas State (-390) | Montana State (+320)
- Spread: Kansas State -8.5 (-110) | Montana State +8.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 139 (-110) | Under 139 (-110)
Kansas State vs Montana State Pick of the Day
Keep reading for more Kansas State vs Montana State betting tips.
Kansas State vs Montana State Prediction
Kansas State 76, Montana State 68
Montana State has had a nice season, winning 25 games and capturing the Big Sky Tournament title to return to the Big Dance. But let’s face it, the Bobcats have hardly faced, let alone beaten, anyone of Kansas State’s caliber.
They’ve played only two Quad 1 games this season (Arizona and Oregon) and lost both convincingly. Expect the Wildcats’ defense, which is forcing more than 14 turnovers a game, to wear them down.
Kansas State has won all 17 games as the moneyline favorite this season, and that should continue here.
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Kansas State vs Montana State Best Bets
Montana State +8.5 (-110) | DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Montana State is one of the hottest teams in the country. They’ve won eight straight, including victories over Northern Colorado, Weber State, and Northern Arizona in the Big Sky Tournament.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Bobcats ride that momentum and keep it reasonably close before wearing down late because of Kansas State’s aggressive defense.
Keep in mind: Montana State is 19-11-2 against the spread this season.
Kansas State vs Montana State Same Game Parlay
Kansas State vs Montana State SGP (+350) | DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
- Kansas State Over 72.5 (-155)
- Montana State +8.5 (-115)
With Markquis Nowell and Florida transfer Keyontae Johnson, Kansas State has one of the better one-two punches in the tournament.
Nowell is great at dishing the ball, with the third-best assist rate in the country, and the 6-foot-6 Johnson is skilled at getting to the rim. He’s also a lethal outside shooter, averaging better than 41% from three-point range.
The Wildcats should score, but Montana State — led by Washington transfer RaeQuan Battle — has both the experience and high-level guard play necessary to stick around.